On the cartoon series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” the superhero, Captain Planet, is aided in his fight to protect the environment by five young people called the Planeteers. In real life, the Captain Planet Foundation has created Youth Planeteer Clubs where students can learn about and help the environment while benefitting their schools.
Mirroring the cartoon even further, the clubs’ programs are divided into five “Take Action Campaigns” (Earth, Fire, Wind, Water and Heart) just as the five Planeteers from the TV series each had a magic ring with powers related to one of these elements:
Earth Planeteer (recycling program)—This campaign educates students about recycling different types of material, which can include cardboard, magazines, white paper, colored paper, newspapers, books, metals and plastics. Students use this information to improve recycling in and around their school building.
Fire Planeteer (energy conservation program)—Focusing on observation, this campaign involves students surveying and collecting data on energy used at their school in order to suggest more efficient methods of energy consumption. Students learn about energy usage regarding commonly used devices including computers, audiovisual equipment, lighting, smart boards, and devices related to heating and cooling, cafeteria work and janitorial maintenance.
Wind Planeteer (clean air school program)—To assist students, this campaign offers a Breath Easy No Idling Student Toolkit, which includes educational material about the importance of good air quality and proactive steps for increasing awareness. Students use this campaign to create a No Idling program to help improve air quality at their school.
Water Planeteer (water conservation program)—Similar to the Fire Planeteer campaign, students through surveying and observation learn about water usage at their school and design a program to improve their school’s water consumption. Areas covered include cleaning the school, drinking, flushing toilets, washing hands, watering landscape and cafeteria uses such as cleaning and cooking.
Heart Planeteer (eco hero in classrooms)—One of Captain Planet’s catchphrases in the animated series was “The power is yours!” In this campaign students introduce their Planeteer Club to their school and encourage both students and teachers to be proactive in helping the environment. Students work with individual classes on coming up with a “Planeteer Conservation Plan” and will keep track of class participation on a monthly basis.